Mats Gustafsson Solo improviser, often in collaboration with contemporary dance, visual art, poetry and theatre. Composer of solo work for saxophone, live electronics and ensemble pieces. Sound Installations.
Commissions by Swedish Concert Institute, Swedish National Radio (P1 & P2), KulturBro 2000, Krakow jazz autumn 2013, Norrlands Operans Symfoniorkester, Now and Forever Space project 2014, Klangforum Wien. Compositions played by Sonic Youth, Nu-ensemblen, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Copenhagen Art Ensemble, The Thing, AALY Trio, Trondheim Improvisers Ensemble, Neneh Cherry, FRIM Storband, Trondheim Voices a.o. Curator of festivals; Sounds 89 & 99, Solo -92, Dygn (-95), Open Music – KulturBro 2000, 2002,
Wels /unlimited music 2003, Perspectives 2004, Perspectives 2007, Perspectives 2009, Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen 2010…
Curator of Swedish concert Institute’s tour project-series “Frislag” since 2000. Extensive touring, over 1800 concerts and over 200 recording projects, with music ensembles and solo projects in Scandinavia, Europe, Australia, Africa, South & North America and Asia.
Major festivals and clubs/performance theatres/museums in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Germany, Ukraine, Belgium, Holland, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Monaco, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, India, China, Japan, Korea, Tasmania, Australia, New Zeeland, USA, Brazil, Canada and Ethiopia
Hamid Drake: by the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers Peter Brotzmann, Fred Anderson, and Ken Vandermark, among others. Drake was born in Monroe, LA, in 1955, and later moved to Chicago with his family. He ended up taking drum lessons with Fred Anderson’s son, eventually taking over the son’s role as percussionist in Anderson’s group. As a result, Fred Anderson also introduced Drake to George Lewis and other AACM members. Drake also has performed a wide range of world music; by the late ’70s, he was a member of Foday Muso Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society and he has played reggae music extensively. Drake has been a member of the Latin jazz band Night on Earth, the Georg Graewe Quartet, the DKV Trio, Peter Brotzmann’s Chicago Octet/Tentet, and Liof Munimula, the oldest free improvising ensemble in Chicago. Drake has also worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Mahmoud Gania, bassist William Parker (in a large number of lineups), and has performed a solstice celebration with fellow Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang semiannually since 1991. Hamid Drake recorded material is best represented on Chicago’s Okkadisk label.
Luc Ex: was, untill 2002, one of the driving forces in The Ex, the group known for its unconventional interpretation of various musical styles. After The Ex won the Dutch BV Popprijs in 1991, the group gained an even wider following, both in Holland and abroad. The Ex worked with a wide range of musicians and other artists. Amongst them Dutch improvisors such as Han Bennink, the American celloplayer Tom Cora, the Belgian arbsurdist Kamagurka, the Malinese group Lanaya and popgroups like Tortoise and Sonic Youth. Between 1995 and 1998 Luc Ex also toured with Roof, a quartet that he set up with Tom Cora, Michael Vatcher and Phil Minton. After Tom Cora died this group reformed itself into 4Walls with the English pianist Veryan Weston. He presently plays in Franz Hautzingers Regenorchestre (with a.o. Otomo Yoshihide) and Speeq. Luc Ex is one of the founders and persons responsible of Konkurrent, an independantly operating CD-producer and distributor.
Ken Vandermark: Eyebrows were raised in the jazz world when it was announced that the relatively obscure and young Ken Vandermark was to receive a 1999 MacArthur “Genius” grant. Previous MacArthur recipients among jazz musicians included Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton — near-legendary figures who, over the course of long careers, created substantial bodies of work that have (to some degree) stood the test of time. Vandermark, just 35 at the time, was little-known outside of Chicago, and his music was not universally accepted to be as significant as musicians’ like Taylor and Braxton. Whether or not he “deserved” such recognition at such a young age is subject to debate, but there’s no question that Vandermark is a talented musician. His tenor sax and bass clarinet work is strong and expressive; his technique on all of his horns is as sure as can be, and his improvising and compositional styles are as intellectually engaging as they are original. Vandermark began playing trumpet in fourth grade and then switched to tenor sax as a junior in high school. He attended McGill University from 1982 to 1986. In 1986, he moved to Boston, where he led a trio called Lombard Street and studied bass clarinet. In 1989, he moved from Boston to Chicago, where he first attracted notice as a member of Hal Russell ‘s NRG Ensemble. His activities increased; he began leading several ensembles and became a mover and shaker, promoting and booking events with influential jazz critic John Corbett. His presence became a constant on the Chicago arts scene; he performs with a variety of bands, including the DKV Trio,Witches & Devils, the Joe Harriot Project, Steam, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, and the Vandermark 5, the latter of which has released over ten albums, including 2001’s Acoustic Machine, 2005’s Color of Memory, and 2006’s Free Jazz Classics, Vols. 3 & 4. A Discontinuous Line also appeared in 2006 from Atavistic.
Ken Vandermark (barisax), Hamid Drake (dums), Mats Gustafsson (sax), Luc Ex (bassguitar)